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Neatnik – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day at dictionary.com is neatnik. Neatnik is a slang word that means a person  who  is extremely  neat about surroundings,  appearance, etc. It originated, according to dictionary.com, in opposition to the word beatnik,defined as a scruffy,  unshaven member of the “beat” generation (coined in 1958). The common element in both words is the suffix -nik. -Nik is a Yiddish term Slavic in origin. Its meaning is similar to the English suffix -er as in doer, thinker, dancer, etc. Its use denotes a person associated with a specified thing or quality.

Words with the suffix -nik gained popularity in the mid to late 1960’s when the Soviet Sputnik, the worlds first man-made satellite, came on the scene. By definition, a sputnik is a person (or thing) who travels with you on a path (put)* – in other words, a traveling companion. During this time there seemed to be no end to the new words (often derogatory in nature) that were coined using this suffix.

Of course there is our word of the day, NEATNIK, and its cousin, BEATNIK. And there were these iterations that you might recognize:

KAPUTNIK/FLOPNIK (1957), failed U.S. satellite attempt;
MUTTNIK (1957), Soviet satellite with dog aboard;
PEACENIK (1963), originally, opponent of the war in Vietnam;
PROTESTNIK (1965), protester against the war in Vietnam;
REFUSENIK (1975), Soviet Jews denied emigration, and also (1983), one who refused to obey orders as a form of protest;
NOSHNIK, one who likes to nosh (Yiddish for ‘eat snacks’);  STRAIGHTNIK, a heterosexual;  FILMNIK; JAZZNIK; FOLKNIK; BACHNIK; FREUDNIK; (definitions self explanatory)
BUSHNIK, admirerers of George Bush;
NOGOODNIK, a no-good person;
KIBBUTZNIK, a person who lives on a kibbutz;
BEARDNIK, a person with a beard;
SICKNIK, a sicko; a person who is perverse or mentally disturbed;
NUDNIK, a person who is very annoying; a persistent nag.

And of things political in Russia:
RASKOLNIK (1723), a dissenter from the national Church in Russia;
CHINOVNIK/TCHINOVNIK (1877), in Tsarist Russia, a government official, a civil servant, especially a minor functionary, a clerk;
NARODNIK (1885), ‘member of the (common) people,’ a supporter of a type of socialism originating amongst the Russian intelligentsia in the late 19th century and which looked on the peasants and intellectuals as revolutionary forces; a Russian populist. In extended use: a person who tries to politicize a community of rural or urban poor while sharing their living conditions; the name by which pre-Marxist Russian socialists are now generally known;
KOLKHOZNIK (1955), a member of a collective farm (a kolkhoz – 1921) in the U.S.S.R.

Here’s a a link to Wikipedia and an exhaustive list of all things -nik. Oh yes, there are more!

Just in the nick of time, 😉 here is a short three line verse (that is not a proper haiku, though it follows the 5-7-5 syllable rule) to put today’s word of the day to rest. What word would you coin using the suffix -nik? It would be a shame to let such a versatile suffix go to waste! 😊

when a neatnik is
the roommate of a beatnik
it’s an odd coupling

~kat


Mushyheaded – Friday’s Word of the Day

mushyheaded

Today’s word of the day at dictionary.com is “mushyheaded”. You can probably guess it’s meaning: inadequately thought out: mushyheaded ideas; having vague, unsubstantiated, or unrealistic ideas or opinions. Mushyheaded (easily duped, stupid) is an Americanism dating back to the mid 19th century. It’s a portmandeau as well (a combination of two or more words to make one word) mushy-headed. The term mush-headed (a stupid person) was also used in the mid 19th century. For reference, “mush”, another Americanism from the late 17th century, is the name of a dish where cornmeal is boiled in water or milk until thick, eaten as a hot cereal, or molded and fried.

As you know, I like to google these words of the day to see what else I can find. One of the first things that came up was the German translation for the word mushy-headed: schwachköpfig. I love German. Their words are colorful and often so descriptive of the thing they are describing. Schwachköpfig sounds like a word one would say with disdain. The English translation for Schwachköpfig is: dunderheaded, soft-headed, weak-headed, dull-headed, crack-brained, feeble brained, lamebrained. But what I found even more entertaining was the list of German synonyms for the word, schwachköpf: Affe, Armleuchter, Armloch, Blödarsch, Blödian, Blödling, Blödmann, Blödmännchen, Blödsack, Brausebirne, Brot, Brummochse, Butterbirne, Bähschaf, Depp, Doofkopp, Doofmann, Dorfdepp, Dorfhupe, Dorftrottel, Dubbel, Dummbart, Dummbartel, Dummdübel, Dummerchen, Dummerjan, Dummian, Dummkopf, Dummlack, Dummschwätzer, Dumpfbacke, Dussel, Dusseltier, Döskopp, Dümmling, Eimer, Einfaltspinsel, Esel, Feldweg, Flachkopf, Flachpfeiffe, Flitschbirne, Gaskopf, Gehirnakrobat, Gehirnamputierter, Geistesgestörter, Geisteskranker, Grützkopf, Hampel, Hansnarr, Hanswurst, Heckenpenner, Hirnamputierter, Hirni, Hohlkopf, Holzkopf, Honk, Hornochse, Hornvieh, Idiot (Substantiv), Idiotenkind, Irrer, Kalb, Kalbskopf, Kamel, Kamuffel, Kauz, Kindskopf, Kirchenlicht, Kohlkopf, Kretin, Licht, Narr, Nichtskönner, Nichtswisser, Nulpe, Ochse, Pampel, Pfeife, Pfeifenkopf, Pflaume, Pfosten, Pinsel, Psycho, Psychopath, Pörre, Quadratesel, Rindvieh, Ross, Schaf, Schafskopf, Schafsnase, Schmalhirn, Schwachkopf, Schwachmat, Schwachsinniger, Schöps, Simpel, Spacken, Spacko, Spast, Spasti, Spaten, Spatzengehirn, Spatzenhirn, Stiesel, Strohkopf, Stümper, Tolpatsch, Tor, Torfkopp, Trantute, Trantüte, Tropf, Trottel, Tölpel, Verrückter, Vollhonk, Vollidiot, Vollpfosten, Vollspast, Volltrottel, Wahnsinniger, Blödi, Blödian, Blödlackl, Blödmann, Depp (Substantiv), Dummbeutel, Dummerchen, Dummerle, Dummkopf, Dödel, Hirni, Hohlkopf, Idiot, Monk, Pfosten, Schwachkopf, Spaten, Trottel,Depp, Dummkopf, Hohlkopf, Holzkopf, Schwachkopf, Torfkopf (Substantiv), Blödian, Blödmann, Dummerjan, Dummkopf, Dummrian, Dämel, Idiot. Aren’t they positively scrumptious?!

The other reference that floated to the top of Google’s list of things mushyheaded was a link to a site called Mushyhead Comics, an online comic book store developed by two self-described nerdy comic freaks whose aim is to “show other comic nerds the love and appreciation they deserve”. I didn’t realize that comic book nerds were so maligned. The things one can learn by practicing the habit of researching just one word a week! Of course I’m happy to have you along for the ride.

And there may have been a few memes and t-shirt vendors using the term mushyheaded in reference to a certain orange wanna-be dictator…but I’m in too good a mood to go there! 🙂

Have a great weekend! Here’s a haiku for you…:)

sometimes my mind drifts
but i’m not mushyheaded…
they’re calling for snow

~kat


House as Self – Sunday Writing Challenge

You never know when you might need that 3-inch lug-nut wrench that came with the baby gate I had when my kids were toddling.

“How old are my kids?” you ask.

Well, if you must know, they have children of their own now. All the more reason to hang onto that little tool. Never know when they might need it.

“And the keys?” you ask, “What are they for?”

Well, that black one? That was from my first apartment. Great place that was. Just a block away from downtown. Loved that place. And that tiny one? My very first diary. I still have it…somewhere…I think. The others? I’m not sure. But someone knows. So I keep them around, just in case.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that all of this junk is useless. But I’ll have you know that I’m the first one everyone comes to when they need tape, a pen, a battery or a rubber-band. I can be counted on for a paper clip in a pinch, or a bandaid or one of those adapter thingies that you use to plug a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet.

Junk you say? I know, and you do too, that you would be lost without me, but it’s okay if you don’t want to admit it. You know I’ll always be here if you need me. Remember that next time you need a twist-tie.

~kat

For MindLoveMiserysMenagerie Sunday Writing Prompt:”House as Self”. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the parts of a house that they are drawn to. I find myself reflected not in a particular room or space, but a drawer…a junk drawer to be exact. You know you love me…😉


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -18 February 2018

So, rough week here in the States. Inconceivable loss for several families on a day that started like any other. The sun rose in the east, wisps of clouds streamed across a crisp blue sky, and I’ve no doubt there was happy birdsong sweetening the breeze wherever people happened to be. It was an ordinary day that flipped into a nightmare at the hands of a disturbed, angry, young man, left behind by the dwindling resources of our top heavy nation.

By evening the horrible facts started to trickle in…17 dead, many wounded; and with it, regret for words unsaid in the rush of the morning, dreams cut short, trauma inflicted, survivors made. Adding salt to fresh wounds was a litany of vapid talking points from our leaders, “thoughts and prayers for this tragedy that our children should never suffer…” but it’s “too soon…too soon to talk about” regulating our homegrown militia of angry white men. It was, of course, as it always is, about mental health, punctuated by a victim-shaming lecture, against those who witnessed the festering insanity of the shooter and said nothing, even though they did say something, we learned, to law enforcement who regretfully missed the gravity of this impending doom. But it wasn’t guns, it’s never guns that caused this latest slaughter of our greatest treasure. With a nod to the NRA, a gun show opened shop a county away from the shuttered crime scene for what would be a banner weekend of arming the fearful with weapons of war.

By Friday, Congress recessed early, the president went golfing, and another news cycle shifted the focus of our attention to porn stars with stained dresses, playboy bunnies, Russian Bots, cyber attacks, justice on the cusp and a “no collusion, but it is Obama’s fault” mantra of vindication spewing from 45’s vile mouth. He finished the week by grinning, “thumbs up” in a photo op with the medical teams who were charged with patching our battered youth together to face another ordinary, possibly horrible day.

We’ve had too many weeks like this. Except…this time feels different. This time feels angry and raw and perhaps even hopeful. The curtain has been ripped back revealing those whose pockets are lined with blood money, calling them to account for their complicity and cowardice. This time there is a force rising, armed with the fiercest of weapons…truth. And though they are young, they are legion; older and wiser than their 5-6 year old contemporaries whose memories still haunt us. This same generation has found its voice and will soon be old enough to vote. A storm is coming with its thunderous cry…”Enough!” This gives me hope even as I grieve.

It’s been a rough week, but I want to leave you with this: Be gentle with yourself. Say I love you often. Breath deliberately, slowly in, then out, and savor each moment as best you can. None of us are promised tomorrow. All the more reason to seize the day. Peace.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -18 February 2018

giving a damn often leads to losing one’s shit
a sweaty blob in a puddle of drool
it’s sometimes a symptom
the honey-soaked earth glimmering…
you were meant to fly
Do you have a minute?
a trio of cowbirds perch aloft, screaming
high above a flat earth…cows
should be an easy choice
sweet
silence
it takes empathy
life is a mere blip
harmonic dissonance
that’s a lot of love
only a breath lingers
charmed by the sun
and the gaslight flickers to black

~kat

A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.


Euphoria

If I’m being honest, there are only a handful of times I’ve experienced true euphoria. Meeting my children for the first time ranks right up there.

Certainly it was euphoria erupting in the sterile confines of those clinically-monitored natural events. I recall the sting of ammonia residue burning my nostrils, released in short Lamaze “hee, hee, ho, ho, oh god!” purse-lipped bursts, the push, don’t push groaning pelvic floor implosions, and the excruciating waves of dull, sharp, 9-10-is there an 11? on a scale of how bad is it? pain.

I was drenched in euphoria by the tingling tickle of cool sweat beads popping from my pores under the glare of strobing fluorescent lights, my muscles shaking uncontrollably, the incessant click-clacking of wheels on linoleum, paper-booted feet shuffling, fetal heart monitor lub-dubbing and by the startling smack of cold metal on my bare back on its sticky slide to the edge, my fuzzy-socked feet lodged securely in stirrups cradling my heels, while a dozen excited eyes burned a hole through my gaping crotch.

But oh… that was only foreplay, euphorically speaking. The exquisite climax to this laboring rush came at long last in the hot, wet, rushing sensation of soft alien flesh sliding from my core into the waiting, latex-gloved hands of a masked stranger who uttered the words I had waited nine long, bloated, nauseating, glowing months to hear…maybe even longer, if I’m being honest. “You did it, Mama! Meet your beautiful daughter!” That, my friends was euphoria!

Euphoria is a sliver shy of madness don’t you think? It’s a scientific fact actually, in some cases, you can look it up. But if we are lucky, it consumes us at least once in a lifetime. I have been quadruply blessed, but I fear my heart could not survive a steady dose of it!

even euphoria

an exhilarating experience
has a dark side

it’s sometimes a symptom
of carbon monoxide poisoning, hard drugs or mania…
I’m perfectly content with really, really happy

~kat

A few thoughts and a Cherita on the topic of Euphoria for Mind Love Misery’s Menageries’ Sunday Writing Prompt: Describe a moment in your real or fictional life when you experienced euphoria. Be as vivid as possible, hit all the senses (and I don’t just mean the basic 5).


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